This morning I replaced nine of the 42 M190 microinverters on my roof with brand-new M215IGs. (FYI, IG stands for "Integrated Ground".) I will replace three more M190s when I have a chance. The M190s which were removed will move to an old array which is sitting in a field. These old inverters are compatible with the 72-cell panels in that array while the M215s are only compatible with 60-cell panels.
Here is a picture showing both of the arrays along with our major electricity consumer:
With this change, I am now in a position to directly observe the in-field differences between the two generations of Enphase inverters. The M215s are now connected to identical PV panels and they are located in a nearly-identical environment as some of the M190s which remain.
Here are some specifics:
PV Panels: Sharp NU-235F3 235W PV Modules
M190 Inverters: Enphase M190-72-240-S12 Microinverter
M215IG Inverters: Enphase M215-60-2LL-S22-IG Microinverter
Latitude: 39 degrees North
Tilt: 30 degrees
Azimuth: 194 degrees
So, what differences do I expect? Here are a few thoughts:
- The M215IGs are significantly easier to install! In fact, I will say installing the M215s was slightly easier than UNinstalling the M190s. (One interesting benefit of the M215s: They use REAL MultiContact MC4 connectors while the old M190s had Amphenol knock-offs which were difficult to mate and unmate from the real ones on the Sharp panels.)
- The M190s have about 11 years left on their warranty while the M215s have 25 years remaining. (I like this part!)
- Based on the investigations I did into reliability
, it appears the M215s should be more reliable than the M190s. (Although I will note that my analysis was of the original M215s, not the M215IGs.) After 3.5 years, I have had two (~5%) of our M190s fail. One was replaced by Enphase, the other was "fixed" by a firmware change but now produces about 6% less energy than it did prior to the failure.
- The M215 is *slightly* more efficient. I doubt I will see a real difference here, but we will see.
- The M215 can put out 225W while the M190 can only put out about 199W. This will not have any effect this time of year, but it should result in additional energy harvest in the cold of winter and spring.
I don't have any data yet, since I haven't gotten Enphase to update Enlighten. But you can see what the array looks like by clicking the link in my signature
below. You can find a description of the array, some photographs and historical data for the entire array, but not for individual inverters. The nine inverters which were replaced this morning are the nine which are on the top row on the house (the subarray on the right).
I don't expect there will be too much to report until it gets cold, but I wanted to start the thread to get the discussion going. Please ask any questions you may have and I will see if I can come up with an answer.
In the meantime, here is a photograph of the contenders in this battle:
Many thanks to QueenBee for selling me the inverters and getting me great prices on all of the rest of the new equipment!
Edit 1: Added images.
Edit 2: Changed title.